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Last night I installed the "free" upgrade to X1. DISASTER!! Oh, it's easy enough to plug in. The disaster is that Comcast doesn't have the bugs worked out of the system and billing is screwed up!

The system initially worked on some of the channels. But when I switched to AMC (which is a channel that I pay for), it told me that the channel was free with my subscription, but I would have to log on to xfinity.com and add it to my lineup. So, I logged onto xfinity.com and looked around for 15-20 minutes to see if there was some channel lineup selector. I then poked around parental settings to see if maybe that was the problem.

Seeing nothing at xfinity.com, I called Comcast on the phone. The automated answering voice asked me if I was calling to activate. Although I did not see anything that said I needed to call to activate X1, I said yes anyway, since you generally have to activate a new box. The automated voice checked my account and said that all my equipment was activated—so apparently that wasn’t the problem.

After the usual *** to get a human, I got some woman who didn’t know anything about X1 and who switched me to Tim in the X1 department. I explained the problem to Tim that the system wanted me to add AMC to my lineup—whatever that meant. Then, he asked if there were other channels that were a problem—and I had visions of making this same phone call 10 times to Comcast, each time I found a channel that needed to be added. After 15-20 minutes, he couldn’t figure out the problem and switched me to technical support. Technical support said they didn’t know anything about it and that I would have to talk to the X1 department. Typical.

When you get switched around at Comcast, you generally have to go back through the annoyance of all the “what’s your address, what’s your mother’s maiden name, what’s the last four digits of your social security number” etc. Plus, I had to wait each time that they transferred me.

When I got transferred back to the X1 department for the SECOND time, Eric said that he knew what the problem was and that the device needed to be activated. I didn’t even bother to tell him that the automated answering voice said that all my equipment had been activated. Then he starts asking me in what sounded like an accusatory tone about how many setup boxes I had—like I had too many for my account and asks me to start reading him the serial numbers on the boxes that I had.

A month or so back, one of my setup boxes died and I got a replacement from the Comcast store. That alone was a pain in the backside since it was 30 minutes from my house and neither Comcast’s website nor Google maps had the right location for the store. I finally asked some man at a Comcast Spotlight location (whatever that is) how to get to the right place.

Anyway, the replacement was as big as a VCR unit, was clearly old, scratched up, and used. We had to set up a TV snack table next to the TV for it to sit on because it was so big. Looked like ***. I called a week later over some billing question and mentioned the beat-up unit, and the representative offered to send me a new one by mail. The new one arrived, and I mailed the beat-up one back to them the very next day using the pre-paid UPS mailing label they gave me.

So, I explained all that to Eric and told him I had three setup boxes in my house right now—the new X1 that just arrived, a disconnected one that I would mail them tomorrow, and one in our den that is part of our two-box account. I told him that the other unit had been mailed back to them via UPS, although I had no idea if they had received it yet.

At this point, I had been on the phone with Comcast for ONE HOUR. That doesn’t include the 15-20 minutes I spent on the computer. Eric waved his magic wand and fixed whatever needed fixing for the TV to work.

The final insult was the Comcast e-mail that I got the next morning. It included a $50 professional installation fee and charges for extra setup boxes. Charging me for professional installation when they mailed me the box and I installed it myself??? Unbelievable! So, I had to call Comcast again to clear that up.

Comcast is in over its head with X1. Can’t wait until Google Fiber buries them.

Reason of review: Bad quality.

I didn't like: High cost, Bugs in system.

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